Utopia 2018: Katymanningtary

Katy Manning

Image Credit: James Ashworth – All Rights Reserved

Image Description: Katy Manning

Fantom Events have run the Utopia Doctor Who convention in Oxfordshire for several years now. James Ashworth went to Eynsham Hall this June and found himself on Traken, at Coal Hill School, under the sea and at the dawn of Doctor Who itself. Here is the third of his articles from Tides 42:

Among my favourite events at Utopia 2018 were the live commentaries, where cast members discussed one of their episodes as it played before a group of fans. I was lucky enough to attend Katy Manning’s live commentary of The Sea Devils Episode 6. She swept into the room in typically fashionable style, before proceeding to introduce herself to everyone in attendance. This involved giving hugs and kisses to all in attendance, and complementing one guest in particular who was wearing a fantastic Iris Wildthyme cosplay. As the introductions concluded, she settled into her chair, and as the opening titles rolled, the commentary began.

The first thing she noted as she came in the screen was her costume. While the white and purple suit was perhaps a good idea in principle, it wasn’t in practice. With all the naval shenanigans of The Sea Devils, it was all a matter of time before it got wet. Once it was, it became very stiff very quickly, leaving Katy to shuffle uncomfortably around the location shoots, especially when climbing from a ventilation duct.

The Sea Devils in particular came in for considerable praise. She had built up a rapport with the actors beneath the costumes, Stuart Fell, who she nicknamed the ‘Baby Sea Devil’, in particular. She was also very passionate about the design and costumes of the Sea Devils, especially the scaly, reptilian look they were able to achieve.

A well-known story from the filming of The Sea Devils regards Roger Delgado’s sea sickness. While Jon Pertwee was very happy to be left in the water and wait to be picked up, Roger Delgado was only very briefly dunked in to be filmed before being hauled out again. Katy also recalls teasing him along with Jon, repeating the line ‘fatty pork chops’ while Roger tried to stop throwing up. 

Recalling the Royal Navy sailors who helped out in filming, Katy remembers Jon being very protective of her around them, especially after emerging from the hovercraft.

Tides 42 is, at time of publication, available to buy through this link

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